The problem with political correctness

Back in college, I started spotting birds. I could identify more than 50 species of birds on India’s west coast.

Most of my friends could never understand this though. They saw no purpose behind learning these bird names. A bird was a bird to them. What difference did it make whether it was called a red-wattled lapwing or a racket tailed drongo?

david-clode-732356-unsplash.jpg
Red-wattled lapwing. Source: David Clode

Knowing a name is the first step towards understanding and engagement. It signifies an interest and a willingness to learn more. By calling somebody by their name, we recognize them and care enough about them. At first, I learnt the names of these birds. But later, I could identify the metallic call of a red-wattled lapwing from half a kilometer away. I also learnt that the drongos can imitate the call of more than 50 other bird species.

Greater_racket-tailed_drongo_@_Kanjirappally_01.jpg
Greater racket tailed drongo. Source: Praveenp

This applies equally to social problems that we care about and wish to address. The name “holocaust” brings to mind a particular dark period in history. That is certainly a start.

Political correctness is an illness of our present, touchy times. While it pretends to care about social problems, it brushes them under the carpet. It lacks the courage necessary to name, identify and engage with them.

Racism exists. But with political correctness,  but we pretend that it does not. Heck, we do not even mention another person’s race. Instead we paint every person with the colour of burying our heads in the ground.

The problem with political correctness is that it is grounded in cowardice and evasiveness. Its proponents and dictators share a common trait – a belief that a problem can be solved by denying its existence.

One thought on “The problem with political correctness

  1. Well said Anupam. Political correctness & “artificial” are synonymous. With birds all of them belonging to a species has the same name. But with people every one has a different name which is difficult to remember. That is why I give them a name which I can relate like Garfield & Raghuveer.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s